Wines from France's Languedoc region have consistently impressed me as great values ever since I began exploring them while on vacation several years ago. Most are earthy with a fair bit of ripe fruit flavors throughout (it gets hot in the southwest corner of France near the Spanish border, after all), pair well with rustic, flavorful cuisine, and normally can be had for $8-12.
Why so cheap for a bottle that would sell for twice as much with a different region on it's label? The Languedoc region is still re-establishing itself in the mainstream consumer's mind as a place that makes good wine after decades of churning out vats and vats of ultra-cheap plonk that lacked any sort of character. This began to change 10-20 years ago as adventurous winemakers moved in and brought the winemaking techniques up to modern standards - buying these wines now gives you the benefit of their expertise without having to pay through the nose for it (yet ...).
The 2006 Chateau Lamy Corbieres doesn't disappoint. It is 35% Carignan, 35% Grenache, 15% Syrah and 15% Mourvedre and has a musty and earthy nose, with some blueberry and spice on the palate. It is dry throughout - definitely not a sweet fruit bomb - and would pair well with grilled meat, pizza, hard cheeses or even a red or yellow curry dish that isn't blisteringly spicy.
Grade: B (a great everyday drinker and a food-friendly value at $8)